Patient Care Team Huddle
“Patient Care Team Huddle.”
It’s a common concept in primary care and team based care settings everywhere. Despite how everyone seems to have heard of them, they are seldom executed well. If your huddles aren’t timely, compelling and engaging for all team members, then chances are you haven’t been taught to do them well.
Common pitfalls in planning a good huddle include the following: not insisting key staff/team members to attend, managers taking over huddles and treating them like staff meetings, clinics that schedule huddles to be too short or too long, allowing multiple conversations and areas of concern such that attendees lose focus.
A great huddle has the following characteristics:
- It is well organized;
- All members of the care team are present and participating;
- No single member of the team dominates the huddle;
- Discussion moves from the EMR to actually “bringing the patient to life” momentarily for the team;
- Includes both planning and tactical thinking and discussion (about this patient individually and thinking about how they fit into the flow of the day);
- It is strategic in determining which staffing resources are best for achieving your goals with this patients; and
- Last but not least, the huddle should be so very compelling that teams no longer want to start their day without the huddle!
Watch the two huddle videos below. These demonstrate well-executed huddles both in person and in a virtual care world. And, they both include all of the components listed above for a great huddle!